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Fallen Tigers (Hardback)

The Fate of America's Missing Airmen in China during World War II

Imprint: University Press of Kentucky
Series: Aviation & Air Power
Pages: 310
Illustrations: 20 b&w photos, 10 maps, 6 charts
ISBN: 9780813180809
Published: 11th May 2021
Casemate UK Academic

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The Japanese invasion and occupation of China was critical to the outcome of the Second World War. Acknowledging China's precarious situation, the US provided crucial aerial support to China. Even before the declaration of war against Japan, the infamous "Flying Tigers," a volunteer force of American airmen, landed in China only weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japanese and American aircraft fought over the skies of inland China and Southeast Asia for the next four years until the end of the war in August 1945. Aerial combat was extremely dangerous at this time, as aviators were often outnumbered and manning obsolete planes. The stories that surface are often of daring, cowboy-esque pilots like David Lee "Tex" Hill, Robert T. Smith, and Claire Chennault dueling in the sky. Aerial combat was extremely dangerous, and aviators who survived getting shot down faced the reality of being lost, and often injured, in unfamiliar territory.


In Fallen Tigers: The Fate of America's Missing Airmen in China during World War II, author Daniel Jackson sheds light on the stories of downed American airmen who attempted to avoid capture by Japanese forces and return to allied territory. In gripping detail, he reveals that the heroism of these pilots was equaled, if not exceeded, by the Chinese civilians and soldiers that risked their lives to return the Americans safely to their airfields. Furthermore, the drive to aid American pilots transcended ideology, as both Chinese communists and nationalists tacitly acknowledged the commonality of their struggle against the Japanese. Drawing upon extensive research in mainland China, Jackson incorporates both American and Chinese sources in this historical drama to show the extent of American/Chinese cooperation.  


Fallen Tigers is an incredible story of survival in the midst of a brutal war  that insightfully illustrates the relationship between missing American pilots and their Chinese allies on the ground who were willing to save their lives at any cost. Filled with compelling personal narratives from memoirs, wartime diaries, and dozens of interviews with veterans, Fallen Tigers will appeal to history buffs and scholars interested in WWII, American wartime aviation, and international relations between the US and China.

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